Monday, March 31, 2014


This post is slightly sour, but good for you! Over the weekend, I've been battling a pretty nasty sore throat. It's such a drag. Undoubtedly you feel as I do, that being sick is nothing but a frustration. In the words of Sweet Brown, "Ain't nobody got time for that!"

Well, my mom came home from the store Sunday afternoon with apple cider vinegar and my sister told me that gargling with it would help my throat. I dissolved a tablespoon of the vinegar in hot water along with about a teaspoon of salt, gargled, and it definitely eased the pain. I also just swished some of it around in my mouth and afterwards, my breath felt incredibly clean. It was at this point that I Googled the health benefits of apple cider vinegar and read about its use as everything from a mouthwash to a oily hair and dandruff treatment, cold symptoms reliever, energy and immune system booster and a lot more. I guess I should have taken some of this wonder liquid a while ago. I know my mom has drunk it from time to time. This winter my friend Abby started drinking vinegar water every morning to ward off the cold/flu season and stayed miraculously healthy.

After completing my "research," I decided to actually drink some. I've never minded the taste of vinegar, but for those who do, I put a tablespoon in white grape juice and couldn't taste it at all! My mom likes to drink it in apple juice, as well. Later, I took it with just water, but honestly, it's not that bad. I think I'll go drink some more now, actually.

Here's a link to a list of the health benefits of apple cider vinegar and one for white distilled vinegar.


Friday, March 28, 2014


The week didn't quite go as planned and Wednesday's post got lost in the shuffle! But, there's plenty to peruse in today's mishmash. Did you have a good week? I think I'm catching a cold...AIRBORNE!

From the week...

-A quote that is so true...


-I would love to wear more dresses this spring/summer, but I'm having such a hard time finding ones that I like! This one from Anthropologie is very cute, but so out of my price range. The hunt continues.

-A list of 6 DIY Green and Safe Cleaning Products put together by Verily Magazine

-Do you find it difficult to stay motivated to study God's word and spend time with Him? I do. This article was really encouraging. From Relevant...

-These 10 Best Easter DIY projects from Camille Styles are quite festive.

-This might just make you cry like I did! One photographer's tribute to his beloved wife...

-I love quiche. No, really, I love quiche. Quiche and I are really tight. I hear people making fun of quiche, saying it's a dainty, girlie food only served at brunches for dainty, girlie people. If that's true, I proclaim to be both dainty and girlie right now! Here's a recipe from A Cup of Jo for crustless cheddar and broccoli quiche that I would love to try.


Monday, March 24, 2014

Monday Monday

This past weekend, my sister and I held down the fort for my parents (and tended to the diabetic cat) while my mom and dad hit the road on a business trip for a couple of days. We had planned on being out socializing at least one of those days, but sinus infections struck and we wound up spending the entire weekend inside, cleaning the house, working on various projects (for me...blogging, making pieces and planning planning planning), watching movies and resting. It was like a mini spa/girl weekend and it was so restful. My sis and I get along incredibly well and were hanging out together most of the time, but we also had our own spaces to be alone, journal and read. I feel like I learn so much when I have a journal and a Bible and time. 

Now, the week and the daily grind are back, but instead of feeling sad, I feel fortified! I feel rested and refreshed and ready to attack the projects I was planning. I'm happy to see Monday!

How was your weekend?  

-Song (from Bump to Buzz) :)

Friday, March 21, 2014


I'm posting my Friday mishmash so late!!! It's been a hectic day. How was yours? Here's to a happy weekend! :)

From the week:

-Good thought...

-Did you know that has a "hair day forecast" feature? I discovered it recently and thought it was funny. :)

-A Beautiful Mess now has a shop where they sell photography courses and actions, among other things. I had never heard of an "action" before perusing their little shop. They're awesome! I'm thinking of buying this collection of actions. The picture below uses my favorite one.

-Found another recipe I have to try. This one caters to my love of pancakes. Cornbread Pancakes w/ Maple-Lemon Curd by Naturally Ella.

-Christian Bale and his true mini-me! Freaky...

-100 year old BFFs discuss pop culture. Watch the video. It's really cute. :)

-Pretty! Want to try the steps for this half-up ponytail?


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Tasty Bananas

Get it? There's a knock-knock joke...

I have a banana-oriented post today, and while it might seem like I was trying to be cute or thematic, I just thought I would try frying bananas and putting them on top of cookies. It was all for yumminess, not for cuteness. :)

Just one banana, sliced and browned in a pan w/ a little olive oil. When they were toasty brown, I poured a tablespoon of water and a tablespoon of honey (I mixed them and microwaved them for a few seconds) in the pan and let them boil in it. Once the liquid had boiled off, I sprinkled cinnamon on them, pulled them out of the pan, stacked them on a shortbread-ish cookie and drizzled warm chocolate sauce on top. Then, I ate it.

The end...


Monday, March 17, 2014

Something Blue

Spring is on it's way...just 5 more days to make it official. The weekend was such a tease for the Midwest. Warm and happy on Friday and Saturday then freezing cold winds on Sunday. Can't wait 'til it's here to stay!

With spring comes the wedding season! It feels like a lot of my friends are getting married this year. Weddings, like many other things, seem to come in waves, don't they?

If there is a bride in your life, you might suggest this "something blue" for the bride and/or her bridesmaids... A piece of periwinkle chalcedony securely wrapped in 14k gold OR sterling silver! Click here to peek at it in the shop.


Friday, March 14, 2014


A while back, my mom gave Plum & Clementine a couple of her old, out of commission flip phones to play with. They love to "talk on the phone" to each other. I heard the following conversation the other day while working in the next room. It's pretty representative of the typical length and content of their convos...

Plum: Hi!
Clementine: ...
Plum: Hello...?
Clementine: Sorry!
I was putting something away and got distracted.
Plum: That's okay!
Clementine: So, yeah, bye!
Plum: Bye!

I'm so glad they had that talk.

From the week:

-Molly from A Piece of Toast visited Paris recently and took a ton of beautiful pictures that she shared on her blog. They made me want to go back!

-Read this and sit up straight!

-I'm going to try making this! Citrus Salt Body Scrub...

-Weird! Slinky sculpture by Li Hongbo. It looks like a marble bust, but it's not. Click here for A Cup of Jo's video of slinky head.

-You've probably seen the "the BBC thinks you've only read 6 out of these 100 books" list before, but this is the best site I've seen to "score yourself" on how much you show up the BBC. :)

-I love stories like this about good sportsmanship and loving people.

-Former Secretary of State Colin Powell's 60 year old selfie...what! :)

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Color - Grapefruit Pink

 I'm addicted to pink grapefruit! Every time I eat one, I suddenly feel healthy and awake. It's not surprising considering the health benefits. The color is a favorite of mine, too. Here are a few lovely, grapefruit pink things I really like for springtime...

1| 2| 3| 4| 5| 6| 7| 8

Monday, March 10, 2014


If you were to look at my nightstand right now (which, actually isn't a real nightstand, it's a stack of hatboxes sitting by my bed) you would see a number of books either on it or scattered beside it. There's a small leather Bible, a couple of journals, a copy of 7 Habits of Highly Effective People & the corresponding workbook, Humility: True Greatness, Wuthering Heights, Tessa Virtue & Scott Moir's autobiography, Discovering the God Who Is, and Natasha's Dance: A Cultural History of Russia. Eclectic.

There's also a small devotional by Nancy Guthrie. It's a really good daily devotional. I would recommend it! Often, I'm amazed at how "on target" a certain day's reading can be... meaning, it directly relates to something I've already been feeling. Last week, I had one of those "on target" reads that wrestled with a disconnected feeling I've had recently toward God... sort of distant and unsure how to relate to Him. You probably know what I mean. Most believers go through times like that where they struggle to feel close to the Lord, but for me it's also been a question of feeling like I don't really know and understand Him. It's been bothering me. I have so much that I'm happy about in my life, and it doesn't seem right to not also feel completely happy in my relationship with God. I really want to know Him better. I was lying in bed thinking and praying about all of this and was suddenly struck by the realization that it's perfectly natural to have difficulty understanding God. Who does understand Him? Who truly knows what this divine, holy, omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent being is like? It seems impossible to relate to Him. We're too imperfect and prone to sin and He's just too high above us. It seems hopeless! Behold, the human condition.

Luckily, I didn't fall asleep after having that realization. The realization was quickly followed by remembering something: God came down. He came to earth as a physical being, becoming human, experiencing our world and empathizing with our suffering. Christ was completely human, completely divine, and if we want to understand God the Father, He is the only one who can introduce us. I remembered that before falling asleep, then the "on target" devotional reading happened the next day.

The daily scripture reading was from John 1, and the verses that stuck out were: "And the Word (Christ) became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth...No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father's side, he has made him known." -John 1:14 & 18

I'm no longer surprised when the day's scripture reading is so directly related to my needs, but it still awes me. Those verses reminded me of something so simple and basic, but so difficult to remember! Jesus made God the Father known to us when He came to earth. It was a huge part of why He came at all. He came to die in our places and restore us to God, bridging the gap between sinful people and divine righteousness, but He also lived here for 30 something years first, bridging the gap in our understanding, so that whenever we're confused about who God is, we can look to Christ and see...He is a healer, He is a comforter, He is a leader. He encourages, convicts, and admonishes. He cries with us and eats with us and works with us. He values quality (when He turned water into wine, it was really good wine!) and demands respect for those who deserve it. He lowers Himself to care for poor, sick, diseased, dirty people. He is wise and capable. He was a brother to those twelve men and loved His parents. I'm sure there are a myriad of other attributes I could name if I thought for a while and read the rest of John (which I am now doing), but think about each of the ones I just listed and force yourself to attribute them to God..."he has been made known." When will I start remembering to look to Christ as the answer to every question?

The fact that I'm writing this demonstrates another thing about God. For all our trouble understanding Him, He does understand us. He understood that we desperately needed a mediator, a go-between, a helper in order to know Him. He knew that I needed a "timely" reminder of this provided mediator last week and used a book (and a restless night) to do it. To paraphrase 1 John 4:19...I understand Him (even just a little bit) because He first understood me.


Friday, March 7, 2014


Is anyone else having trouble with the dryness in the air? I have dry skin, dry eyes, dry hair... As a result, I've been drinking a lot more water than usual and using a ton of lotion. I even stuck my hands in socks while I slept last night. How do you cope with this??

I have very little to say about the weekend. I'm going to be doing laundry and watching Psych reruns with my family. There will also be a lot of designing! New pieces to come!!!


-5 Things To Do While You're Single ...a little article that strikes at the heart of what purposeful single years should be about.

-Do any of you watch BBC's Sherlock? They just finished an amazing 3rd season! I love the writing and acting on that show. It's excellent. In the book, the stories are told from the perspective of Watson, as if he were writing them, so on the show they have Watson writing a blog chronicling all of their adventures. Last week I stumbled on the real thing! Take a peek, it's a fun read! Here.

-Lemon & Vanilla Cream Sandwiches from Roost. Spring seems like the time for citrus. I've had a hankering for it lately. These look so good!

-Try these exercises geared specifically towards balance by Real Simple. I went ice skating last week. I need these.

-"Hip" 20-somethings swap clothes with their grandparents. (Funnily enough, a few of them look like that's what they were going for to begin with.)

-I read this article yesterday...Apparently, figure skating queen, Yuna Kim, actually spoke out about the judging in Sochi. She was just saying what most of us were thinking...

-Cute and simple.

-This is cool. The NY Times put together frame by frame shots of some of the Olympic events. Poor Mao Asada...

-Personalized is always better. Make a spoon rest your own! But remember to use food-safe porcelain pens. Check out what Laura used here.


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Introducing...Clementine & Plum

Genuine little girl laughter is so adorable. I'm blessed enough to hear it often in the week. I know I've never mentioned this, but I have been a nanny to two little girls, along with my sister and mom, for the past 4 years. Their single mom works hard every day, so they come to play and learn at my house a few days each week. In order to keep their lives as private as possible, I've given them imaginary names and that picture isn't really of them (although one is a blonde and the other is a brunette), but I wanted to begin sharing with you some of the things that go on while they're here. Crazy, silly and sometimes hilarious things. 

A few things about Plum & Clementine: 
Plum is blonde, Clementine's brunette. The fruity names I chose are due to their love of everything Strawberry Shortcake. More specifically, they're due to their favorite colors... purple and orange. Plum is 8 and has very few boundaries right now. She likes to do as she likes to do and loves being around people. She's a very quick-witted little girl and easily sees the humor in things. Clementine is 9, but often seems much wiser than 9. She's curious and clever, the combination of which results in her learning a lot, fast. She has a sweet, teachable spirit and is extremely creative. Both of them love to dance and draw, play games and take care of animals. I can't wait to see what they each grow up to be!


Monday, March 3, 2014

Coming Soon...

Isn't that a great photo? Will there ever again be that much class and elegance in one Oscar ceremony? 
I doubt it.

I'm so excited to fill you on in a big change coming soon. I'm getting a logo! Thus far, I've had a text-only header which has served its purpose well, but I've always looked forward to the day when I would work with a designer on a unique logo. It took a while to narrow it down to Jack + Molly...if you follow the link, you can look at some of their previous work. I can't wait to see the final result! At the same time, I'll also be making some changes to the blog. Everything gets a spruce all at once. Look for the transition to be made in the next couple of months!